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Mans home ownership is on the house
RICHMOND, Maine (11/8/11)--Rather than demolish a house on a lot where Down East CU was preparing to build its new branch in Richmond, Maine, the credit union decided to offer it-- for free--to the first person who would remove the home from the premises, said the Maine Credit Union League.

Rather than using a wrecking ball to demolish a house to make way for its new Richmond branch, Down East CU, Baileyville, Maine, gave away the house for free to the first person who would remove it. (Photo provided by the Maine Credit Union League)
The $86.4 million asset, Baileyville, Maine-based credit union said it wanted to find a way to remove the home without destroying it, according to Kaj Johansen, vice president of branch operations (News&Views November).

"We did not want to put a perfectly good home in a landfill, and with the state of the economy, it would have been a shame to just tear it down," he said.

The credit union used word of mouth, its website and in-branch monitors to spread news of it plans. Soon, telephone calls came pouring in. "The response was overwhelming and members and non-members called about it," Johansen said. "Everyone really thought it was great we went this route because the home had some historical presence in the community."

The person who arrived to pick up the new home moved it just down the street, allowing the historic house to stay a part of the community.

"He could not have been any happier to get the home," Johansen said. "It's a win-win for all involved, eliminating the need to reduce the house to rubble and soon, someone will be moving into the new home."


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